Trump on Iraq War: US 'Should Never Ever Have Left'

Trump on Iraq War: US 'Should Never Ever Have Left'

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with Donald Trump on 20 March at the White House and the two leaders discussed accelerating efforts to put an end to the Islamic State.

The Iraqi premier said he got the impression that the Trump administration will take a more aggressive approach than the administration of President Barack Obama, who was reluctant to commit large numbers of USA troops to combat Daesh in Iraq.

He said government forces, working effectively with Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga and supported by American airpower and military advisers, are on the brink of fully liberating Mosul, the northern city that has been the Islamic State group's main Iraqi stronghold since 2014.

Abadi said Trump appeared more enthusiastic about battling extremists than Barack Obama's administration had been.

The billionaire-turned-president told an Iraqi delegation that he was wondering why Obama supported the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), further asserting "nobody" knows why. Speaking to the press following the meeting, Abadi told reporters that the U.S. president had assured him of increased support in the fight against terrorism.

The White House said Iraq and the United States will work together against terrorism on a long-term basis.

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"We should never, ever have left", he said. "We've been here a short while and people have said they'd never seen such a difference", Trump said. "But, maybe, someday, we'll be able to figure that out". "The president recognizes the importance of Iraq", he said in a meeting at the US Institute of Peace. We're going to get rid of Daesh.

"We have been given assurances that the [US] support will not only continue but will accelerate for Iraq to accomplish the task", Abbadi said following talks with Trump at the White House on Monday.

Trump also raised the issue of Iran and its nuclear ambitions, questioning why his predecessor, Obama, signed a nuclear agreement with Tehran that lifted a longstanding Western trade embargo against the Islamic Republic.

He also called on the global community for more financial contributions to rebuild war-torn Iraqi cities.

"We (would) love to see more funds so that we can quickly (regain) prosperity and stabilization in these areas", he added, according to Reuters.

Abbadi thanked Trump for removing Iraq from a travel ban affecting several Muslim-majority countries.

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